They say the Western genre has come and gone with the passing of the great western novelists, and the cowboy has disintegrated along with his chroniclers. There are no real heroes left. It’s turned out they all had feet of clay. The final frontier is likely to be an alternate-virtual reality of a sort, populated by agents, spooks, mad scientists, and madder political operatives, all part of a galactic, or at the least world- wide empire or shadowy cabal of global conspirators.
What Logan Hawkes has done here is to combine, through some strange alchemical symbiosis, the merging of multiple genres into a workable whole. You have The Old West with its wide-open spaces, and promise of adventure and freedom…Action adventure focusing not on Native-Americans as auxiliary and ancillary to the story, but as central characters. Then, as intimated in the title, there is science-fiction. Weapons and technology literally from out of this world. I don’t want to give too much away here, but this is a different sort of book. Native American werewolves…alien vampires.. There is incipient romance, but it never really gets farther than that. There’s a lot of true to life history, and as this is a novel, much as well that is imagined history. Then a lot that is fanciful as well.
The Culpepper Ring was a secret organization that operated from the time of George Washington. If it still exists now, no one is saying. There are other shadow organizations, many with a basis in history, that are referenced in “Close Encounters of The Old West”. Aliens and Indians have a long established connection in Native-American mythology and religion. That being said, tales of off world visitors and gods, angels, flying aircraft and alien beings are ubiquitous in cultures in all epochs and across the world.
There is much more. Jonah Montana is half Cherokee, existing successfully in the white man’s world as well as the Native-American world. He becomes a direct agent of the president of the United States and is sent westward to investigate strange events and happenings that are best dealt with in a manner of utmost discretion. He meets up with the beautiful rancher’s daughter Molly Langtry who wanted his job as a secret agent to President James Garfield, who is at the time, occupied in dying from an assassins bullet. Alexander Graham Bell (yes the inventor of the telephone) is there for assistance and technical help.
The plot thickens…and gets tastier as well. You should like it, your kids should like it. Like the author himself, anyone with Native American blood should love it. It has something for every age; Even I had no problem finishing it. It reminds me of some of the best adventure novels and dime novel westerns I read as a boy. That being said, there is a glossary of Cherokee Indian phrases. Also there’s an appendix on Cherokee life, customs, and beliefs.